No doubt, Nigeria and Nigerians are now faced with two delivery dates for all four national refineries which had been moribund for decades.
Whereas the first delivery of 2023 was given by the GMD of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNCP), Mr Mele Kyari during his inaugural address after the retirement of Dr Maikanti Baru few months ago, the latest date of next year and 2021 is coming from the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva in Lagos this week.
The Minister, who spoke at the 13th Oil Trading and Logistics Africa Downstream Week (OTLADW), assured that Warri and Kaduna refineries will be revamped in the first half of next year.
Represented by his Senior Technical Adviser and Chief of Staff, Mr Moses Olamide, the minister revealed that the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery was ongoing but was silent on the state of the fourth national refinery.
The Minister was also silent on the cost implications of the repairs and sources of funding as such spending was not captured both in the 2019 and 2020 national budgets.
Business Hilights recalls that the four national refineries have a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day but have continued to operate far below the installed capacity for many years.
Sylva revealed that “Refurbishment of the existing refineries to achieve full capacity operations shall be fast-tracked: (Port Harcourt ongoing, others to follow by Q1 and Q2 2020),” and averred that “Working with the private sector to aggressively increase domestic refinery capacity would be paramount under my watch.”
“In order to have a robust, investor-friendly and stable downstream petroleum sector, the government is currently finalising clearer and more transparent regulatory framework with well-delineated activities to support the rapid infrastructural development in the sector including new refining capacities emerging in the country,” Timipre Sylva said.